Terry Knickerbocker

Studio Director, Meisner Technique Teacher

For the past thirty years in New York City, Terry Knickerbocker has acted, directed, coached, and produced art with some incredible people.

Cultivate originality. You cannot be an imitation. All you can be is yourself.

Terry is a graduate of The Experimental Theatre Wing in the Drama Dept. at New York University. After graduating from NYU, Terry trained as an actor and a teacher with William Esper. He taught at The William Esper Studio for 25 years, and continues as part of the core faculty at the Experimental Theatre Wing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has also taught directing at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School and Yale University. Other essential teacher/mentors include Maggie Flanigan, Rina Yerushalmi, Steve Wangh, Terry Hayden, Nikos Psacharopoulos, Jackie Brookes, Mary Overlie, Ryszard Cieslak, Jerzy Grotowski, Pierre Lefèvre, Moshe Feldenkrais, Dr. Louis Ormont, and Dr. Harry Fogarty.

He has coached actors on over 300 films, television and theater projects, both on and off-Broadway and regionally. He also consulted with playwrights and screenwriters on their scripts. Some of the actors he has worked with and trained include Sam Rockwell, Chris Messina, Boyd Holbrook, Natasha Lyonne, Leslie Bibb, Emmy Rossum, Yul Vasquez, Jordana Spiro, Gillian Alexy, Gretchen Mol and many others.

A past recipient of the Drama League of New York’s directing award/fellowship for emerging directors, Terry is also a former member of Circle Rep’s LAB. His directing credits include many new works as well as contemporary and classical plays such as Measure for Measure, Tartuffe, The Normal Heart, Candida, All My Sons, and David Rabe’s In the Boom Boom Room.

Hear From Our Students

The last two years of my life spent with Terry I have seen tremendous growth in my work as an actor and in my life as a human being. He is compassionate, caring and gentle while simultaneously demanding the absolute best from each and every actor day in and day out. Terry’s laser focus and intuitive ability to find the truth in everyone’s work is incredibly rare. He extends his commitment to excellence to every corner of the studio from the design of the studio itself to the incredible faculty he surrounds himself with. My work in movement and voice as well are still so important to me and stretched me in ways I could never have imagined doing myself.

– Christopher C.

Alumunus

One can only benefit from time spent at Terry Knickerbocker Studio- the faculty’s belief in craft, attention to detail, and passion in the pursuit of maximizing their student’s potential are on par with any institution I’ve ever encountered.

Terry is of a very rare breed, a master in his field, with the singular goal of making you a better actor. I trust him with my life and, actor or not, implore anyone seeking personal betterment to visit the Terry Knickerbocker Studio.

– Conor D.

Alumnus

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“He’s opened my eyes to aspects of myself that I have forgotten….”

 

The amount of love, respect and gratitude I have for Terry can not fit in this review. Terry has been such a great teacher and colleague. He’s opened my eyes to aspects of myself that I have forgotten, aspects that I need as an actor to be the best I can be. He still continues to train me to be the best I can be, to run towards the sound of the cannons, to hold up the mirror to the world. I have been eternally blessed to be training with Terry. Not only does he teach skills you need to be the best actor you can be, he also teaches you skills to be the best human you can be. For all that, I am eternally grateful.

– Olivia M.

Alumnus

“I can’t imagine studying with anyone else….”

 

I’ve been studying with Terry for nine years, which is how long I’ve lived in New York. I can’t imagine studying with anyone else. His attention and patience doesn’t just resonate with me as an actor, but continues outside the classroom, as well. It’s pretty amazing to witness. Working with him has allowed me to become a much more aware actor, one who is more open and ready to listen, and extremely available and giving, which allows me to enjoy my acting. These are all things which should be on every actor’s utility belt. I’m the best actor when I work with Terry and consistently do my best work with him coaching and encouraging me. As good of a coach as he is, Terry really makes you become a better person. His teachings and warm heart were one of the first things I experienced in the city but they’ll remain with me in all things that I will ever do. I have him to thank for the actor and person I’ve become.

– Joshua Z.

Alumnus

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“Everyone from staff to students is there for the shared love and passion for acting….”

 

Terry Knickerbocker Studio is an excellent studio. I have pages of great things to say but most people don’t read that long so here are the bullet points. At TK Studio, you work closely and personally with Terry. He takes the time to get to know you and your work. He offers HONEST critiques of your work with advice to improve, and that, to me, is priceless. Terry invests his time with each of his students.

TK Studios is a bit off the grid in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which for me allows more focus on the work and the craft than being in a studio in the busy city full of other acting studios that feel like desperation and competition. At TK Studios, you can relax. You work with your peers and you’re invested in their success because it is made clear everyone’s journey is their own. There isn’t any competition rather we learn from each other and are inspired by each other. The quality of students at TK Studios is also top notch. You will not run into lazy actors or someone not as enthused about the work as you are. Everyone from staff to students is there for the shared love and passion for acting. I would recommend TK Studios if you are passionate about acting, if you want to build your craft, try something new, or just keep your work fresh and honest.

– Victoria M.

Alumnus

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“Terry creates a safe, fun, and experimental environment that allows us students to explore our different temperaments at great length….”

 

Terry Knickerbocker Studio is an AMAZING acting studio. It is helmed by the brilliant Terry himself who challenges, inspires, collaborates, but more importantly, builds relationships with his students. He always comes ready to teach with consistent, high intensity energy and pushes his students to bring this same readiness to each class (which will then carry over into our professional acting jobs). Terry creates a safe, fun, and experimental environment that allows us students to explore our different temperaments at great length. I am so grateful to be at the Studio currently and train under the master teacher that is Terry.

Also, Terry has surrounded himself with an amazing team of other teachers like Kana Sato, Nate Flower, Matthew Dudley, and more! The supplemental voice and movement classes, as well as other electives, are just as challenging and inspiring!!

If you’re looking for a place to start, continue, or strengthen your training, GO TO TERRY KNICKERBOCKER STUDIO! If you’re not ready for the full commitment of a 2-Year program, try out the 6-Week Summer Intensive to see if this is the right training for you. I have a feeling it will be.

– Michael TJ W.

Alumnus

One of the most amazing experiences I’ve had as a human and an actor. Terry creates an environment that made me feel comfortable to explore and discover aspects of myself that I️ was afraid of and didn’t even know existed. Gentle & insanely honest. I️ continue to learn from Terry and look forward to doing so for a long time. Inspiring!

– Sam F.

Master Class Student

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“Terry treated me (as he treats all of his students) like a serious person and a serious actor….”

 

I have been working with Terry for over a year now, after taking a break from acting for quite some time to have kids. It was terrifying getting back on the horse – I felt like I wasn’t an “artist” anymore, and had no right to think that I could be again. Terry treated me (as he treats all of his students) like a serious person and a serious actor, and has always been thoughtful and generous in his support and feedback. He helps the actor make sense of things that sometimes make no sense, and find meaning in moments that don’t always seem to stand out on first read. I look forward to continuing to work with Terry, and continuing to grow in my work as an actor.

– Kathy C.

Third Year Student

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“I left his class with a broader view of the world, a stronger understanding of our work and a better sense of myself as an artist….”

 

Upon walking in and seeing TK Studio for the first time, I realized how serious Terry Knickerbocker is about building an environment conducive to learning. Every inch of the space leads one closer to the reason we are all there; the work. With his attention to detail moment-to-moment, Terry keeps precise notes on every part of a scene, which equates to an incredibly thorough critique of the work which helped us find more ideas, more understanding, more fun. Having studied Meisner my entire career, I found Terry not only continuing the traditions of Sandy’s technique, but also working in a way that still welcomes serious actors with other approaches. Terry’s insight, creativity and thoughtful analysis are why I feel Terry is at the top of his game, and will surely be getting even better. In class, Terry is a teacher, coach, director and trusted advisor, helping us find deeper, more specific meaning in our work and in ourselves. I left his class with a broader view of the world, a stronger understanding of our work and a better sense of myself as an artist.

– Faron S.

Master Class Student

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“Terry truly is the créme de la créme of acting teachers….”

 

I had the privilege of studying with Terry over 15 years ago, and was thrilled to hear about the opening of his very own studio. I recently enrolled in his Master Class after many years and was quickly reminded why Terry truly is the créme de la créme of acting teachers. He has an INNATE ability to analyze a script and breakdown a character with such laser precision. He helps you as a person and as an actor figure out your “stuff” and how you can use that for the benefit of your work and building a character. If you’re looking for a top notch studio and acting teacher, then look no further! I am behind this studio 100%!

– Elizabeth S.

Master Class Student

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“He is a library of knowledge on all things acting….”

 

I recently took Terry’s LA Master Class. What an amazing teacher this guy is!! He is a library of knowledge on all things acting. His approach and feedback are honest but gentle, he doesn’t rip actors apart, nor does he pat you on the back just to get your money. Most teachers will tell actors what they want to hear in order to keep them coming back; Terry is not one of those teachers. If you’re looking for an awesome class to give you some great tools to add to your repertoire, then I would highly suggest this class!

– Jonathan S.

LA Master Class Student

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“He is sure-handed and secure enough in his own way to be flexible to the needs of the actor in front of him….”

 

Terry Knickerbocker is excellent, and stands for excellence. He is a deeply knowledgable communicator of his own tradition, and has a palpable curiosity of other ways of working, which I have seen and experienced first-hand. He is sure-handed and secure enough in his own way to be flexible to the needs of the actor in front of him, while at the same time holding out a high standard for each actor to shoot for. He is dedicated, funny, disciplined, present and serious about the work but not about himself. He was exceedingly kind in answering my many questions, and I’m very glad to have attended his Master Class. As someone who has trained with many of the finest teachers in the world, I can recommend Terry and his studio without reservation.

– Sean Patrick F.

Master Class Student

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“He puts the Master in Master Class….”

 

Terry visited Drama Inc. (what I consider the best acting studio in Atlanta, GA) in February 2020 and I was lucky enough to be one of the INCterns helping with the week of Master Classes.

Terry is simply the best. He puts the Master in Master Class. He displays talent, attitude, skills, and education of the highest degree. If you want literal top notch professionalism and training, choose the brilliant Terry Knickerbocker.

– Victor R.

Atlanta Master Class Intern

“He’s a master at his craft and anyone who gets to work with him is truly lucky….”

 

Terry is truly a one-of-a-kind teacher that will push you to be the best that you can be. He’s authentic, invested in each and every student and so inspiring. After studying with him for the 2-Year program a few years ago, I came back for the Summer Master Class and felt alive again. He’s a master at his craft and anyone who gets to work with him is truly lucky. I would highly recommend him to anyone who’s passionate and committed to do the work.

– Lorianna I.

Alumnus

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“Terry has a flare and style that is all his own….”

 

I haven’t felt this inspired, up for any challenge, ready to take the best care of my instrument as a whole, ready to dive in deeper than ever, in a long time. I forgot so many wonderful parts of actor training, voice, movement…details and basics that I needed to get back to. This class challenged me, made me feel encouraged, inspired, and like I had found someone so special to work with. Terry has a flare and style that is all his own, I love his humor and candor. I wish I could work with him every week, I KNOW that he will make me a better actor. Until next time. Run, don’t walk!

Rebecca F.

Master Class Student

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“If you are serious about acting, then this studio is number one….”

 

If only it was easy to articulate why this studio deserves 5 stars!! My experience here was life-changing to say the least. If you are serious about acting, then this studio is number one. Terry, the staff and the students thrive here, exemplifying excellence at it’s best. It can be intimidating choosing to train professionally as an actor, especially with many studio options in NYC, but Terry’s studio is like no other, helping each individual reach their full potential by creating a safe space to do so. Terry’s attention to detail, his undivided attention and love for his work are what sets this studio apart from the others. There is so much passion in, not only Terry’s teaching, but in all the staff there. Because of this passion, I was influenced immensely to be the best actor I can be. I was influenced to love, work hard and enjoy the process. The teachers, the staff, and the students care about you and your potential. I was pushed to take risks and to let go just like everyone else here. I am a better actor because of this training here, and an even better empathetic human. I am eternally grateful for this beautiful experience.

– Deonna D.

Alumnus

Terry taught a 4-day Intensive in Atlanta that I was lucky enough to be a part of! I absolutely loved the importance he puts on the writing and the words of the playwrights. This is something that’s rarely taught in Atlanta. I would recommend him to anyone wanting to better their craft!

– Candi V.

Atlanta Master Class Student

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Terry did a 4-day Intensive in Atlanta and it was absolutely incredible. You can tell that acting is embedded in every cell in his body and he truly does care. His patience is unmatched which also created a really safe environment to be free & feel. While those 4 days were hard, I felt like I grew so much from the experience. Hoping to join his intensive this Summer or maybe even the conservatory program. We’ll see! Thank you for coming to Atlanta, Terry!

– Gabriela A.

Atlanta Master Class Student

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I only had a chance to audit one day of the 4-day Intensive at Drama Inc. in Atlanta (it sold out quickly), but it was still invaluable. The feedback and coaching he gave during the running of scenes was simple, direct, and actionable, and I saw it change the performances immediately. I am now doing my best to give myself those types of notes during my rehearsals, and am excited for the chance to work with him the next time he’s in town. In short, highly recommended!

– Fred G.

Atlanta Master Class Student

I met Terry at a workshop I audited in Atlanta. I was greeted with the most sincere welcome. Terry is a genuine and caring teacher. His knowledge and the way he communicates is a true gift. I sat in two sessions and watched how he took the actors to another level with their skills. I have studied acting with many teachers and I only wish I were young enough to start all over with Terry. I highly recommend Terry to anyone that wants to improve their craft. Thank you, Terry, and hurry back to Atlanta!!

– Renee C.

Atlanta Master Class Student

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“Terry has a true gift to meet an actor where they are and to give guidance without any judgement….”

 

I had the opportunity to take the first Atlanta 4-day Terry Knickerbocker Intensive and it was the absolute best experience. It was challenging and so very rewarding. We always strive for precision and clarity in our work and Terry did an incredible job leading us there. The notes were direct and supportive of each artist exactly where they were in the journey. Terry has a true gift to meet an actor where they are and to give guidance without any judgement. He is so obviously passionate about his work and if you have the opportunity to study with Terry in any capacity – dive in!!! I do hope to continue my journey with Terry at some point in the future. This experience was unforgettable in the best way.

– Elise D.

Atlanta Master Class Student

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“I grew tremendously in this journey….”

 

Where can I begin about this incredible experience? Terry is easy to know, direct, supportive, and brings to his class knowledge that cannot be compared to any class I have taken! His wonderful direction changed my scene from a disaster to, on the last day, something he seemed quite pleased with! I took this class with 3 of my teachers at Drama, Inc. so that’s the level of most of the participants…..but I never felt I should not be there because of Terry….he made me feel it was OK that I was part of this advanced, intensive class. I know I grew tremendously in this journey and will remember all his notes! Also, his extremely kind voice.

– Bonny B.

Atlanta Master Class Student

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“TKS molds individuals, not cookie cutters….”

 

Terry Knickerbocker Studio is my artistic home. Terry and his faculty are incredible — working with them has changed me as an actor and as a person in all of the best ways. TKS molds individuals, not cookie cutters — I trust Terry and his faculty one hundred percent. While the Studio itself is a wonderful, open space, the online community that’s been cultivated during this difficult time is not to be dismissed. I have made immense progress doing this work online, as I would in the Studio. If you’re ready to be the best actor you can be, there’s no need to wait for the literal doors to open — there is work to be done at TKS now on Zoom, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a life-changer!

– Kim F.

3rd Year Student

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“Do not miss out on an opportunity to study here. It will change your life…..”

 

When you study at Terry Knickerbocker Studio – growth is inevitable.

Training with Terry is the best decision I have ever made for my art, my career, and my life. I leave every class feeling inspired and motivated. The work Terry pulls out of each of his students is breathtaking. In all my years training, I have never worked with someone who is as compassionate and dedicated as Terry. I attribute all of my career success to his masterful teaching and generous guidance.

I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to study at Terry Knickerbocker Studio and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be the best actor they can be. Do not miss out on an opportunity to study here. It will change your life.

– Spencer N.

Alumnus

“….That, to me, is the mark of a truly great teacher. One who actually wants you to not need them anymore.”

 

Terry always knows which parts of you to encourage:

-when to push or when to back off.

-when to let you fall flat on your face and when to hold your hand.

-when to ground you in technique and when to coax your imagination into flight.

His depth of knowledge about acting, theatre, film and all the arts is apparently bottomless. His breadth of knowledge covers so many differing facets of life that it hurts my head.

Honestly, the man knows more about everything than anyone I’ve ever met, which impresses me mostly because it’s indicative of just how interested he is.

Most importantly: he knows when to leave you alone. That, to me, is the mark of a truly great teacher. One who actually wants you to not need them anymore.

– Darius H.

Alumnus

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“It is to him that I owe my maturation as both a person and an actor…..”

 

Terry is the best teacher I have ever had, in any subject, across all academic and artistic boundaries. What he has taught me about acting may be secondary to what he has taught me about my approach to life. He is responsible for cultivating my sense of communication and interaction with other people, and how to be fully engaged with the world around me. It wasn’t until working with Terry that I learned how to listen – really listen to other people – and move beyond any self involvement (I had a lot) in order to be present in the moment I am currently in. Terry models this behavior by being with you in every moment – engaged, active, and alive – while taking as much time as it takes to nurture this process for every student that walks through the door. It is to him that I owe my maturation as both a person and an actor. Over the course of 10 years of studying with him, I continue to gain valuable insight and new perspectives with every class. I admittedly remain a work in progress, but I have complete faith and trust in Terry to continue guiding me for the next 10 years, and beyond. I look forward to the person he will help me to become.

– Aristotle S.

Alumnus

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I think about when I’m 50 and I just got nominated for my Third Oscar and the guy asks “Where’d you find your voice?”

And I say, “I had this burning desire to find my voice when I was young and Terry Knickerbocker summoned it from this grave in me where I buried all my feelings.” That was the start. That everything I felt was OK and needed to be heard. That’s what we found.

– Braxton M.

Alumnus

“This is life-changing training….”

 

This is life-changing training — both as an artist and human being. Unlike some graduate programs, Terry is interested in an individual’s quirks and nurtures your uniqueness. You come out of the program with both his standard of acting excellence and your individuality better understood by yourself and your colleagues. That kind of confidence to be “you” in the real world while knowing how to arrange yourself to serve character and a story is invaluable.

– Jenna C.

Alumnus

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“….working with him and getting to know him has been one of the greatest joys of my life….”

 

Terry has been the most important teacher for my acting life. His ability to be exactly what you need, whether it’s a drill sergeant, a compassionate guru, a goofy friend or, in my case, all of the above, he has a way of figuring out what speaks to you and adapting himself so he can get through to you. I can safely say that I would not be where I am without Terry. His understanding and passion for the work is infectious and working with him and getting to know him has been one of the greatest joys of my life. Not to sound like a bad infomercial, but I can honestly say that when it comes to acting teachers, Terry really is in a class of his own and I have nothing but gratitude towards him. The man changed my life for the better and I am lucky to have him in my life.

– Rishi M.

Alumnus

“All of the teachers here are top notch, professional and immensely passionate and caring….”

 

Truly, I cannot recommend training at this studio enough. Studying with Terry has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only is Terry filled with knowledge and wisdom about acting and the industry, but he is also incredibly perceptive, kind, and overflowing with truth and empathy. This program has changed my life and has helped prepare me to be the best actor I can be. All of the teachers here are top notch, professional and immensely passionate and caring. The Studio itself is beautiful, clean and very welcoming. I am forever grateful that I was able to study here.

– Erin B.

Alumnus

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I have studied with many different acting coaches in both LA & NYC. But after just a short time spent with Terry, I can honestly say he is the best I’ve ever worked with. His teachings are invaluable. Terry has a true gift for this. I cannot wait to return for more of his incredible insight, heart & humor.

– Joanne R.

Master Class Student

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“I 100% recommend Terry Knickerbocker Studio for any actor – from beginner to seasoned vet….”

 

I worked with Terry Knickerbocker prior to his development of this new studio. After a visit, I was inspired to jump right back and study here!

Terry is the most incredible teacher. His commitment and dedication to each individual artist is invaluable. And he has filled his studio with plenty of teachers who are just as excellent.

The space is clean, well-lit, and spacious; a gem in the area. The wide array of classes offered is eclectic and enriching, and the front desk service is incredibly friendly and organized.

I 100% recommend Terry Knickerbocker Studio for any actor – from beginner to seasoned vet.

– Megan M.

Alumnus

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“My experience training with Terry has been a wake up call of the heart….”

 

I highly recommend this teacher, this studio and this path if you aspire to be a true artist. My experience training with Terry has been a wake up call of the heart. Terry encourages you to be who you are…unhinged and in raw form. He stands by the individual, cultivating a spirit and work ethic inside that is invaluable in artistry and every aspect of life itself. If you are reading this and are considering this path, you are already on it. This is where you come for the truth.

– Aaron H.

Alumnus

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I’m forever grateful to Terry for reminding me why I love acting, for valuing craft and taking the time and care to invest in digging deeper and honoring the work. I hope to be back in the Studio again soon!

– Caitlin Z.

Master Class Student

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“….he has given me an artistic vocabulary from which to craft wherever I go….”

 

Working with Terry has been invaluable to me as an artist. His special gift for seeing actors’ true selves, often before they do, alongside his standard of excellence, precision, compassion and patience has all helped me become the artist I am today. My time with Terry in the Studio never leaves me when I am working “in the real world,” and he has given me an artistic vocabulary from which to craft wherever I go. I could not be more filled with joy to see the artistic home Terry has created for his students. The Studio is a reflection of the space that he creates in all the lives he touches: a safe, joyous place in which each student can take the exhilarating risk to emancipate their imagination while staying connected.

– Samantha L.

Master Class Student

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“…..he immediately honed in on me and innately understood something about me as a person….”

 

One of the things that most struck me about Terry when I first started studying with him was how he immediately honed in on me and innately understood something about me as a person. This intimate understanding he has with students informs him of what he can do best to push them as an artist/ person/ and actor.

– Hunter T.

Master Class Student

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